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Janet Jackson graces the cover of ‘Essence’

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Yu Tsai

Ahead of her highly-anticipated performance as one of the headliners of the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture next month, legendary musician Janet Jackson lands the cover of the magazine’s June/July issue. 

She’ll be rounding out the fest on Saturday, July 2nd — alongside fellow R&B artists Jazmine Sullivan and Summer Walker — but prior to the show, she talked with Essence about her revered music career, definition of success and more.  

“I’ve never been that person to have my awards on display. There’s nothing wrong with it, that’s just not me,” she said. Jackson defines success by reflecting on how far she’s come in her music journey and realizing the woman she is today. “If you came to my home, you would never know — if you did not know who I was — that I am an entertainer. I don’t have one award on my wall,” she said.

Jackson’s regarded by many in the industry as one of the greatest musicians of all time, but she says her legendary status isn’t as important as one might think.

“It’s really the body of music touching people and how it impacts their lives that matters to me. It’s not the accolades. I honestly don’t think about that stuff.”

As it relates to new music, Jackson says fans should expect something soon. “Exactly when? I can’t say just yet.” And while she loves music “too much not do it,” she says her “number one job is being a mama.”

The Janet Jackson Essence Festival of Culture issue hits newsstands June 28, followed by Essence Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 30 – July 3. 

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